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Grassland Reserve Program

The Grassland Reserve Program is a voluntary program offering landowners and agricultural operators the opportunity to protect and restore eligible grasslands and related conservation values for which grazing is or has been a predominant use through either rental contracts or conservation easements. All applications received prior to the ranking cut-off dates will be evaluated and considered for funding in 2013. Applications for the Grassland Reserve Program are accepted on a continuous sign-up basis. Subsequent cutoff dates may be established based on the availability of funding.

  •  The first ranking cut-off date is February 15, 2013
  •  The second ranking cut-off date is March 15, 2013

GRP emphasizes

  1. Supporting grazing operations
  2. Maintaining and improving plant and animal biodiversity and
  3. Protecting grasslands and shrublands from the threat of conversion to uses other than grazing

Landowner Eligibility

Landowners interested in participating in GRP should submit an application form NRCS-CPA-1200 to the local Natural Resources Conservation Service office (please see link below). Participants must also be in compliance with High Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Provisions of the Farm Bill and also meet Adjusted Gross Income limitations. Eligibility for the easement option requires the private landowner be able to provide evidence of land ownership.

Land Eligibility

Privately owned lands that are

  1. Grassland, land that contains forbs, or shrubs (including rangeland and improved pastureland) for which grazing is the predominant use; or
  2. (1) Land located in an area that has been historically dominated by grassland, forbs, and shrubs, is compatible with grazing uses; and

    (2) Land that has potential to provide habitat for animal or plant populations of significant ecological value if the land is retained in the current use and condition of the land or restored to a natural condition or contains historical or archeological properties (including, but not limited to sites, buildings, structures, objects, and landscapes, including properties of traditional religious and cultural importance to an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization (see Section 101(c)(6) of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)) listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or addresses issues raised by state, regional and national conservation priorities.

Ranking and Evaluation

NRCS ranks eligible projects according to both environmental benefits and cost-analysis Applications will be evaluated using a two phase ranking criteria where the highest rated applicants will be evaluated in a second ranking phase.

Landowners who want to participate in GRP may enroll through a permanent conservation easement, or a 10, 15, or 20 year rental contract. Rental Contracts pay a $16.50 per acre flat rate for each year of the agreement. Conservation easement values are determined by certified appraisals.

Links to Other Useful Sites

National GRP Program Information

For more information

Please contact your local USDA Service Center’s District Conservationist.

State Contact

Nicola Giardina
EQIP Manager / Resource Conservationist
Phone: (808) 541-2600 x 155

Karen Dearlove
Easement Specialist
Phone: (907) 283-8732 ext. 114